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Some German Soldiers were Respected, Others Not

Heroes Remember

Some German Soldiers were Respected, Others Not

We ran into the Herman Goering Paratroop Division. It's hard to, you know, a lot of people look at me when I say they were good soldiers. They were probably, they were the older type soldier and I, I say they were gentlemen. Because, we had got people that they would take and they would give them cigarettes and fix, if they were wounded, fix them up and lean them against a tree because they knew that we were coming along to get them. When I say we met gentlemen in Italy, we met the Hitler Youth going up through the lowlands, and they were born to be bad. They were bad kids, fifteen and sixteen they'd spit on you and they were a different type of soldier all together than the fellows we met in Italy. And when I was over in 1999 back on a pilgrimage, I got to Rome and this German heard there was some 1st Canadian Division boys, and he came over, he was one of the Herman Goering paratroopers and he came over and we had a great afternoon together, he was a real, his name was Wilhelm Fritz, he was a real, he was a real nice guy. Well you know like he said to me, he said "You stick up your head" he said "I shoot you." and he said, "Thank God you missed me." You know, so, and that's the way it was, you know.

Mr. McInnis explains what he feels was the difference between older German soldiers and the Hitler Youth.

Alexander McInnis

Mr. McInnis was born in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, on September 7, 1919. His father was a section man for the CNR. He was the 3rd in a family of six (four brothers and one sister) of which his sister was the eldest. He joined the Cape Breton Highlanders without telling his parents when he was 20 years old. His four brothers also joined the forces. He started training in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, and then Victoria Park in Sydney until joining the West Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment. He went overseas May 12, 1940, and trained in Aldershot for three years. In 1943 he was sent by convoy to partake in the invasion of Sicily. After helping to free the town of Agira, he was sent across to southern Italy. After taking part in the Battle of Ortona he was wounded and ended up in the hospital in England for seven months. He then moved on to France, with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Division. After five more months of fighting in France and Holland where he helped in freeing the port of Antwerp, he was sent home to Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alexander McInnis
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
West Nova Scotia Highlanders
Three Inch Mortar Man

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